Investment

Impact investing is nothing new for this family office…it’s been doing it for more than 20 years

Impact investing is all the rage these days, but a family office representing one of America’s most famous families has been doing it for years. Not only that but emphasis has been to support the community that has been so integral to the family’s success. 

Shamrock, the family office set up by Roy E. Disney, a family member behind the Walt Disney Company, has been managing a fund used for supportive housing, and small and medium-sized businesses in the Los Angeles area since 2000. Walt Disney is, of course, synonymous with the Burbank areas of Los Angeles and has been for much of its nearly 100 years of existence. 

Under the guidance of Shamrock, the fund invests in developments in low- to moderate-income parts of the city. It also finances small and medium-sized businesses in wealthier areas, emphasising women- and minority-owned firms. 

The fund’s investors come through impact investment group SDS Capital Group, founded by Deborah La Franchi, a former economic advisor to the Los Angeles mayor’s office. La Franchi had the idea of using Shamrock to manage the fund when it was started, because, as she told the Los Angeles Times: to get it “out of government”. 

According to the LA Times, the fund, which has $1.3 billion under management, has attracted in the past investment from McDonald’s, Kmart, and Washington Mutual Bank. 

The decision to let Shamrock manage the fund appears to have worked, given the family office has done so for more than 20 years. Shamrock, founded in 1978, is one of the oldest single-family offices in the US. 

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